In the Supreme Court of India
|NAME OF THE CASE
|Jafarudheen & Ors. v. State of Kerala
|IA NO. 6532 of 2021 (APPLICATION FOR BAIL) in CRIMINAL APPEAL NOs. 430 – 431 Of 2015
|DATE OF THE CASE
|23 July 2021
|Jafarudheen & Ors.
|State of Kerala
|Hon’ble Chief Justice N. V. Ramana, Hon’ble Justice Surya Kant & Hon’ble Justice A. S. Bopanna
|Indian Penal Code, 1860 Explosive Act, 1884
|Indian Penal Code, 1860 – Sections 143, 148, 427, 460, 302 read with section 149 Explosive Act, 1884 – Sections 3 and 5
The present case is a Bail Application that has been heard by the Apex Court of India. Justices Sanjay Kishan Kaul and M. M. Sundresh announced the verdict in this matter. The decision was made on 22 April, 2022. The case in hand is the appeal of the case on which Trial court and high court has given their respective judgements and is still challenged before the Supreme Court. Verdicts in Trial court upheld and acquittals were overturned by the two Judged Bench of the High Court of Kerela are being appealed to the Supreme Court. The accused, who had their acquittal confirmed, are now free to go wherever they want. After all the procedure of the Court and Looking into Evidences and arguments by both the sides Apex Court give approval to the decision of the Trial court and held it to be correct and bail order was approved.
The case in hand is related to the clash of two affiliated members of two political parties. The FIR was filed by person who was Witness of the case, he mentioned that accused attacked the deceased and also exploded country bombs. Let’s understand first –
What is FIR?
When the police acquire details relating the execution of an offence, they submit a draft document called a First Information Report (FIR). It is termed the First Information Report because it is a reporting of facts that gets the police first in time. It is usually a complaint reported to police by the survivor of a criminal offence or someone acting on his or her behalf. An FIR can be filed by anyone who has information concerning the commission of offence. It is not required for only the criminal victim to submit a FIR. Anyone can report a commission infraction to the police, either verbally or in writing. A telephonic communication might also be considered a FIR.
Who is Witness?
A witness is someone who has directly witnessed an occurrence. It could be a robbery, an accident, or anything else. Any person who can perceive a fact with his or her senses can be a witness. Any conduct may be perceived by a competent witness through his eyes, ears, smell, sensation, touch, or any other rational way. To witness is described as to examine an event in progress or to provide proof. They aid in the clarification of events by sharing everything they know with the judge or jury.
A bomb is an explosive device that is intended to harm or kill civilians or potentially destroy property.
FACTS OF THE CASE
The present case arises when fight started between the two political party members. Both the dead and the guilty are members of two distinct political parties, one of which is linked with the CPI (M) and the other with the NDF. There was a fight between CPI (M) and NDF associated political members, with the dead and P.W.8 as CPI(M) members and A-3 and A-10 as NDF associates. The dead allegedly assaulted A-3 during the argument.
In order to exact revenge, the suspects, numbering 16, gathered at the family home of A-5 on the same day and devised a plot to assassinate the deceased. Following the aforementioned decision, A-1 to A-13 arrived at the deceased’s residence the next day with three material items, namely I an auto-rickshaw, (ii) a motorcycle, and (iii) a jeep, all armed with deadly weapons such as swords, knives, and a chopper. While four of them waited outside, the others stormed in and attacked the deceased without mercy. They also detonated country bombs twice throughout the procedure.
P.W.1 was present during the incident and was the narrator of the FIR that was filed against six named defendants and other individuals for offences punishable under Sections 143, 147, 148, 427, 452, 302 read with 149 of the Indian Penal Code and Section 3 of the Explosives Substances Act. The next day, the filed complaint was delivered to the jurisdictional Magistrate. A charge sheet was filed against 16 people when the inquiry was completed. The prosecution called a total of 66 witnesses. While acquitting the suspects, the Sessions Judge in Kollam found them guilty. Both the prosecution and the de facto complainant, as well as the convicted accused, filed appeals and amendments. The conviction and imprisonment were upheld by the Kerala High Court.
The State’s appealing against conviction judgement in favour of A-14 to A-16 was rejected, although it was granted by reversing the conviction order of A-10 to A-13. The guilty suspects have issued these challenges as the court fight against A-14 through A-16 has come to an end.
Later, the hearing for bail application was done.
ISSUES RAISED BEFORE THE COURT
The only issue of the case is –
- Whether the bail should be granted to A-10 and A-13 on not?
ARGUMENTS FROM APPELANT SIDE
- A-2, A-4, A-5, A-8, and A-9’s learned attorneys argued that the FIR filed was an afterthought, produced afterwards and so ante-dated, and that there is no appropriate explanation for referring the jeep with the registration plate.
- It was also argued that there is delayed in the part of Magistrate and this delayed has not been thoroughly investigated. Because the witnesses are either interested or chance, the courts should have dismissed their testimony. They include members of the deceased’s relatives as well as representatives of a political party.
- Mr. R. Basant, learned senior counsel for A-10 to A-13, has contended that the High Court made a jurisdictional mistake by overturning the Trial Court’s well-founded decision and substituting its own views for those of the Trial Court.
- He additionally argued that when witnesses are unable to identify the defendant, the testimonies given become very suspect. He cited the case of Mohan @ Srinivas @ Seena @Tailor Seena v. State of Karnataka, 2021, in which it was decided that when the Trial Court has issued an order of acquittal after thorough examination and assessment of the evidence, the High Court’s power under the code must be exercised with caution.
ARGUMENTS FROM RESPONDENT SIDE
- On behalf of state it was submitted that – In the absence of any evident illegality, the concurrent decisions of the courts, it is argued, do not deserve any interference.
- It was also said that both lower courts evaluated all evidence, including eyewitnesses, material things, and recoveries, as well as scientific data.
- It was later contended that it had stated its reasoning for overturning the Trial Court’s acquittal ruling. The evidence value of the recoveries was not even considered by the Trial Court. In such a circumstance, there is no need for intervention, especially because the arguments stated have been documented.
- On the matter of the car number being mentioned in the FIR, it is argued that it has not been shown to the Court and, in any case, the conviction was delivered based on the documents on record.
- Indian Penal Code ,1860 –
- Section 143 – Whoever is a member of an unlawful assembly, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to six months, or with fine, or with both. 
- Section 148 – Whoever is guilty of rioting, being armed with a deadly weapon or with anything which, used as a weapon of offence, is likely to cause death, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to three years, or with fine, or with both.
- Section 149 – If an offence is committed by any member of an unlawful assembly in prosecution of the common object of that assembly, or such as the members of that assembly knew to be likely to be committed in prosecution of that object, every person who, at the time of the committing of that offence, is a member of the same assembly, is guilty of that offence.
- Section 302 – Whoever commits murder shall be punished with death or 1 [imprisonment for life], and shall also be liable to fine.
- Section 427 – Whoever commits mischief and thereby causes loss or damage to the amount of fifty rupees or upwards, shall be punished with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to two years, or with fine, or with both.
- Section 460 – —If, at the time of the committing of lurking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night, any person guilty of such offence shall voluntarily cause or attempt to cause death or grievous hurt to any person, every person jointly concerned in committing such lurkking house-trespass by night or house-breaking by night, shall be punished with 1 [imprisonment for life], or with imprisonment of either description for a term which may extend to ten years, and shall also be liable to fine.
Explosive Act, 1884 –
- Section 5 – Power to make rules as to licensing of the manufacture, possession, use, sale, transport, import and export of explosives.
The court held that we have found no evidence to support the conclusion that the delay is wilful and deliberate enough to raise suspicion. We are inclined to dismiss the aforementioned claim because we find no flaw in the Trial Court’s reasoning, which is based on the other material on record, along with the depositions of the eyewitnesses. Thus, the said contention raised also deserves to be rejected.
We can draw our analogy because the evidential justifications advanced in support of these witnesses’ statements arouse suspicion and are likely to mislead or, at the very least, are insufficient to sustain a hotly contested result. As a result, we agree with the Trial Court’s ruling.
It’s also unlikely that A-12 could keep the bloodstains on her dress for more than ten days. The same reasoning might be applied to A-10. A-13 was said to have recovered the blood-stained dress from the clinic. Apart from associating the said dress to that of the suspect, it is unknown how the said dress arrived at the hospital, so there is no proof on that count.
The appellants’ convictions in Criminal Appeal No. 430-431 of 2015, numbered A-10 to A-13, have been overturned by the High Court. As a result, the appeals filed by accused nos. A-10 to A-13, Criminal Appeal No.430-431 of 2015, are allowed, with the High Court’s judgement being set aside and the Trial Court’s acquittal being restored. Bail bonds for A-10 to A-13, if any, have been released. If there are any pending applications, they will be discarded.
We are willing to give them bail based on the allegations stated application for bail, the reality that applicants are claimed to signed, have been in jail for more than 6 years, and it is a matter of reversing, pending the outcome of the Criminal Appeals. Given the nature of the occurrence, the court directs the relevant Trial Court to apply the abovementioned condition on the appellants in order for them to keep away from the scene of the incident, taking into account the distance. The Trial Court would also have the authority to impose any other terms and conditions that it saw suitable and appropriate.
The following conditions apply to bail applications.
As per the judgement of the case I think court has taken a correct decision by upholding trial court’s judgement. Just the delay cannot be a factor in rejecting the prosecution’s case arrived for after due investigation. Also, there were no proper evidence which prove that there is relation of bloodstained dress and the accused, making him guilty. I think this judgement is totally worthy for the convicted side as bail was given to them, and they were already have been in jail for more than 6 years and because of allegations they were not given bail.
I personally think that explosion of country bombs twice throughout the procedure or even between an act of revenge is not ok it harm person as well as general public. Also, the allegations if not proved correctly because of delay of time on the part of any official is not worth it for the any of the two parties as well as judiciary as it will make general public believe that judiciary is non effective in nature.
 See The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 143, https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1860-45.pdf
 See The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 148, https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1860-45.pdf
 See The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 149, https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1860-45.pdf
 See The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 302, https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1860-45.pdf
 See The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 427, https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1860-45.pdf
 See The Indian Penal Code, 1860, Section 460, https://legislative.gov.in/sites/default/files/A1860-45.pdf
See The Explosive Act, 1884, Section 5, https://www.indiacode.nic.in/bitstream/123456789/15371/1/the_explosives_act%2C_1884.pdf